Powerful Loretto Smacks Sale Creek, 3-1, For Class 1A State Volleyball Title

In Fourth Trip To Tourney, Lady Panthers Notch School's Best Finish

Thursday, October 18, 2018 - by Larry Fleming

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Loretto ruined what could have been a nice little celebration for Sale Creek on Thursday at the TSSAA Class 1A state volleyball tournament at Middle Tennessee State University.

Sale Creek (40-8), appearing in their fourth tournament and the title match for the first time, were victimized by a constant offensive attack and the potent Lady Mustangs rolled past the Lady Panthers, 3-1, to claim the title in impressive fashion by scores of 25-17, 19-25, 22-25 and 18-25.

“We thought we were ready for the match and wanted to beat them since they beat us first,” senior hitter Madysun Steele said after the match. “We won the first set and when they tied it 1-1 it was like the match was starting all over. We felt like we could play with them.

The fact was that Loretto, which beat Sale Creek 3-1 in both team’s tournament opener, began a power move at the get-go and never relented. The Lady Mustangs had four players with double-digit kills – Mary Beth Cotton (19), Raven Chance (11) and Shelby Ridgeway and Karly Weathers, each with 10. Loretto had a combined 61 in the match.

Sale Creek struggled to keep up. Steele had 20 kills and Sydney Gibson added 19, a combination that supplied a majority of the team’s attack all season. The Lady Panthers’ kill total was 51.

“Loretto was definitely more consistent us today and they just kept pounding,” said coach Debbie Hill, who completed her 38th season coaching. She has spent 50 years at the North Hamilton County school as a student and coach.

“This was our fourth state tournament and we finished fifth, fourth, third and second. I’m happy for the girls and it was a great season,” the coach added.

Sale Creek had a 70 percent attack rate in the first set, successfully hitting 12 of 17 attempts. However, the Lady Panthers finished the match making 42 of 91 for 46 percent.

Steele and Gibson went into the title match with 70 kills each. Steele’s total went to 90 and Gibson’s 89 at the end of the day.

Loretto’s opening percentage was 47, but the ended with 50 percent on 43 of 85 attacks.

Sale Creek’s attacks go through setter Jayda Perry and 5-foot-4 senior was brilliant again in the most important match in school history. Perry had 44 of the team’s 49 assists and pushed her tournament total to 226.

However, that stat didn’t stop the flow of tears in the Murphy Center hallway when the title round ended.

“I feel pretty bad,” Perry said. “They were really strong on the right side and they played the same in the first time we played them. And, we did too.”

Loretto had an answer to Sale Creek’s leading up-front weapons. Brooke Buttrum registered a match-high 49 assists, including 17 in the third set when the Lady Mustangs (34-10) took a 2-1 lead.

In the key category of digs, the Lady Panthers, who lose six seniors, collected 71 with Avery Cox (16) and Kayla Phillips (12) accounting for 28.

Conversely, Loretto had 83 digs and place five players in double figures, with Buttrum leading with 18 and Cotton close with 17.

All those number advantages for the Lady Mustangs led to a jubilant trip home.

The Lady Panthers were feeling their oats in the opening set, breaking away from a 12-11 lead by scoring eight of the next 10 points to build a 20-13 advantage. Loretto put up four straight points – Bailey Brown had two kills and Cotton one – in the mini-spurt.

Steele had a steal and block in Sale Creek’s four-point run and coupled with a Loretto error reached 24 points. A Loretto error produced the 25th point.

The Lady Mustangs then began their comeback march that overwhelmed the Lady Panthers.

With the second set tied 6-6, Loretto unleashed a 9-1 run for a 15-7 margin. Sale Creek was within 22-19 later, but the Lady Mustangs got the final three points on Weathers’ kill, Brown’s slap and Cotton’s ace.

Sale Creek battled in a face-to-face showdown in the third set and the scored was level at 20-20. A closing 5-2 spree gave the set to Loretto.

Two sets down. One to go.

Loretto opened with four straight points. Nursing a 17-11 lead, the Lady Panthers closed the gap to two points with a 4-0 run – Steele and Gibson each had a kill. The Lady Mustangs were up 21-18 and Cotton scored three points and a Sale Creek unforced error resulted in the other point.

“For sure, Loretto had the most power and they played smarter than we did,” Steele said. “We didn’t make the shots we needed to make. But we did great things this season. It was amazing. We just needed one more win.”

What did Sale Creek need to do to change the outcome?

“I don’t know,” Perry said. “We didn’t do the basics and made some stupid mistakes.”

Championship Statistics

Sale Creek

Reagan Ayres – 2 kills, 4 digs, 1 block

Sydney Gibson – 19 kills, 3 digs, 5 blocks

Lillie Morgan – 3 kills, 7 digs 1 block

Jayda Perry – 5 kills, 44 assists, 9 digs, 2 blocks

Kayla Phillips – 2 kills, 1 assist, 12 digs, 2 blocks

Madysun Steele – 20 kils, 1 assist, 9 digs

Avery Cox – 3 assists, 16 digs

Allison Smith – 5 digs

Ruthie Parks – 6 digs

Loretto

Shelby Ridgeway – 10 kills, 1 assist, 6 digs, 3 blocks

Bailey Brown – 8 kills, 14 digs, 3 blocks

Mary Beth Cotton – 19 kills, 5 assists, 17 digs, 1 block

Brooke Buttrum – 3 kills, 49 assists, 18 digs

Karly Weathers – 10 kills, 11 digs, 5 blocks

Raven Chance – 11 kills, 1 assists, 1 dig, 3 blocks

Jaden Ezell – 10 digs

Jenna Huntley – 6 digs

(Contact Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and on Twitter @larryfleming44)

 

PREP BASEBALL/SOFTBALL/SOCCER SCHEDULES

PHOTOS: UTC Defeats Western Carolina 3-0

Lee Lacrosse Ends Season With Loss To Young Harris


(Changes, Corrections Or Additions: Please Notify Dennis Norwood at dennisnorwood56@gmail.com) PREP BASEBALL THURSDAY, APRIL 18 Walker Valley at Central Sale Creek at ... (click for more)

UTC defeated Western Carolina 3-0 in the second game of a softball doubleheader Thursday at Frost Stadium. UTC won the first game 6-5. (click for more)

The Lee women's lacrosse team wrapped up the 2019 season with a 21-5 loss at Young Harris College on Wednesday evening. Freshman Shayna Ryan capped off her first year with the Lady Flames ... (click for more)


Sports

PREP BASEBALL/SOFTBALL/SOCCER SCHEDULES

(Changes, Corrections Or Additions: Please Notify Dennis Norwood at dennisnorwood56@gmail.com) PREP BASEBALL THURSDAY, APRIL 18 Walker Valley at Central Sale Creek at Bledsoe Co. McCallie at Rhea Co. Soddy Daisy Trojan Classic At Soddy Daisy 4:00 pm: Signal Mtn vs. White Co. 7:00 pm: Soddy Daisy vs. Signal Mtn At Ooltewah 4:00 pm: Ooltewah ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: UTC Defeats Western Carolina 3-0

UTC defeated Western Carolina 3-0 in the second game of a softball doubleheader Thursday at Frost Stadium. UTC won the first game 6-5. (click for more)

Breaking News

TDOT Plans To Add 1 Lane In Each Direction To I-24 From Georgia State Line To US 27; New Section Of Apison Pike To Be Widened

The state plans to add one lane in each direction to a seven-mile section of Interstate 24, which is one of the most congested freeways in the country. The purchase of right of way for the project is included in TDOT’s annual three year transportation program. Right of way is listed for 2022 in a section between the Georgia state line and Brown's Ferry Road and another ... (click for more)

Person Shot In Road Rage Incident On Bailey Avenue; Shooter Flees

A person was shot after a road rage incident on Bailey Avenue on Thursday afternoon. Police said the shooter fled. Police responded to 1050 Bailey Ave. at 3:16 p.m. The person was not seriously injured. Police blocked off Bailey Avenue from National Avenue to the overpass as the incident was being investigated. (click for more)

Opinion

Save The Wildlife, Mr. Berke

Why in the world would there be any question regarding the wildlife at East Lake park, and the humane relocation of same? Why would anyone need to beg for the right thing to be done? Maybe if the ducks could ride scooters, there would be money for this. Or maybe if they had means to pay for one of the so-called affordable apartments we have in Chattanooga, they would rate the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What's 'Good' About It?

For the biggest part of my life (a real long time) I refused to acknowledge what is “good” about Good Friday. Today, in literally every country on earth, it is ‘Good Friday’ and, nope, nothing is “good” about killing my Jesus. Forget that it is the most singular display of His love for me, and I push all of the human race aside, to stand completely alone, and feel Jesus’ eyes on ... (click for more)